Farmhouse of the Palms

Near São Brás de Alportel, Algarve, Portugal Book from Book from £102 per night

Blissfully rural farmhouse B&B with almost monastic peace: 15km from Faro and the Algarve's alluring beaches
Just a short drive inland from the Algarve’s sun-kissed coast is a region few visitors ever experience: a lovely landscape of rolling hills dotted with vineyards, cork trees and olive groves, where life continues much as it has done for centuries. Unhurried farmers work the land by hand, melancholy fado can be heard in the cafés, and the narrow streets are designed for carts not cars. It was this simple lifestyle that appealed to Flemish couple Frank and Veronique, and here, in the hills above pretty São Brás de Alportel, that they discovered their dream project: a sprawling 200-year-old farmhouse ripe for renovation.

With its whitewashed walls, cobbled pathways and ancient stone fountain, Farmhouse of the Palms oozes character and charm. It’s a substantial property, yet has just 5 beautiful and enormous guestrooms, offering plenty of space to relax. Find a peaceful spot in the palm-filled garden, enjoy a leisurely breakfast of continental treats, laze by the black-tiled pool. You'll never want to leave, but there are pretty castle towns, atmospheric markets and local tavernas to be explored. We're yet to stay ourselves, but it sounds ideal for discovering there's more to the Algarve than just sun, sea and sand.

Highs

  • The careful blend of original features with gorgeous contemporary design
  • A deeply peaceful rural setting: no neighbours and stunning views over the São Brás de Alportel valley
  • Fabulous breakfasts and local dinners served on Thursdays and Sundays
  • Plenty of space to relax: on your private terrace, by the pool or in the garden surrounded by fruit trees and tropical plants
  • Great value

Lows

  • With just 5 rooms, it fills up fast; book ahead
  • From mid July to mid August the property is only available as a private rental for 10-14; a great option for 2-3 families
  • You’ll need a car here; excellent restaurants are a drive away
  • The outdoor pool is unheated but the black tiles keep it warm enough for swimming May-October

Best time to go

For warm days and uncrowded beaches, visit in the shoulder seasons of May/June and September/October. These months are ideal for exploring the region on foot or by bicycle. Sun worshippers will enjoy the heat of high summer (July/August), though you might have to fight for a spot on the beach. Farmhouse of the Palms closes from the beginning of November to the end of March, when many restaurants and tourist attractions also shut down for the winter.

Our top tips

Some of the world’s best artisan olive oils are produced in the Algarve. To see this traditional process in action, visit the family-run Monterosa Olive Oil farm in Moncarapacho (a 20-minute drive). Olives are picked by hand from their 20-hectare orchard and pressed in a granite stone mill. Monterosa organises tours 3 times a week, followed by tastings of their award-winning oils from the fresh and sweet Maçanilha to the spicy and pungent Cobrançosa.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Family
  • Boutique B&B
  • 5
  • Breakfast + other meals on request; restaurants a drive away
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 17 Jan 2019 - 29 Mar 2019
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

The 5 enormous rooms are beautifully styled with whitewashed walls and soothing tones of natural stone, wood and terracotta. High beamed ceilings, chunky wooden doorways and rustic wall alcoves add authentic farmhouse character, while heavenly beds with Egyptian cotton, Bluetooth speakers and Delta espresso makers ensure modern comfort. We love the decorative details, too: wicker lamps and quirky art. Ensuite bathrooms in smooth polished concrete feature walk-in rain showers, fluffy bathrobes and wonderfully scented artisan soaps.

The largest suite, Room 5 is the only one with a beautiful freestanding bathtub. With a master bedroom and separate twin, it’s ideal for families, though many couples just enjoy the extra space. Also on the first floor is romantic Room 4 – we love the look of the rooftop terrace where you can sleep alfresco under the stars in a canopied 4-poster bed. At ground level are 2 more stylish doubles, Rooms 1 and 2, with large terraces and far-reaching views. Room No 3, overlooking the courtyard, has a small second bedroom.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Beach towels
  • Bluetooth sound system
  • Coffee maker
  • Hairdryer
  • Mosquito net
  • Satellite TV
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Breakfast is a highlight, served to your table on a terrace in the welcome shade of a large carob tree. It starts with a sumptuous spread of continental delights: fresh fruit smoothies and strong foamy coffee; little jars of yoghurt topped with pomegranate, kiwi and mango; sourdough bread with homemade jams, cheese and locally cured meats; eggs cooked to order; flaky croissants and pastéis de nata (Portuguese custard tarts). The options change slightly every day, but are always delicious and fresh.

In high season (July/August), a light lunch menu of salads, toasties and omelettes is available on request. Dinner is offered on request, on Thursday and Sunday year round: a local chef comes to the farmhouse to prepare a Portuguese feast. You might find yourself tucking into hearty local fare such as Cataplana (Algarve fish stew), Ameijoas Bulhão Pato (clams Portuguese-style) or Arriz Marisco (seafood rice), accompanied by a selection of wine or beer from the honesty bar. Otherwise, just 4km away, São Brás de Alportel has several excellent restaurants.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee maker
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Visit nearby São Brás de Alportel for local tavernas and an authentic cork factory
  • Explore Rio Formosa natural park with its lagoons and stunning island beaches, a haven for migrating birds; take boat taxis back and forth
  • Hit the beach: Praia Falesia (Albufeira, 40 mins) and Praia Marinha (Benagil, 50 mins) are 2 of the most picturesque, though there are several closer
  • Join the locals in Loulé at the Saturday fruit and veg market; the Market Hall, with its Arabic arched windows, dates from 1908
  • Wander the cobblestone streets of Tavira, one of the region's most beautiful towns, then take a ferry to its unspoilt island beach
  • Hike or cycle part of the Via Algarviana to experience the magnificent scenery of the inland Algarve; Frank can arrange bike hire
  • Play a round of golf at several top courses including Vale do Lobo, Quinta do Lago, Vilamoura, Quinta da Ria and Benamor
  • Spend a morning in atmospheric Faro, with its attractive marina, medieval old town and wealth of museums
  • Admire Roman ruins at Melreu near Estoi

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Beaches
  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Well being

Kids

Children are welcome and 2 of the rooms are spacious family suites. The 12m outdoor pool and large gardens dotted with fruit trees offer plenty of space to burn off energy, and there are several beaches within a 20-minute drive. Parents of babies/toddlers are welcome to use the kitchen to prepare food for their children.

From mid July-mid August, the property is only available as an exclusive rental; an excellent option for 2-3 families holidaying together!

Family friendly accommodation:

Room No 5 is perfect for families with 2 separate bedrooms (one master, one twin) and a spacious bathroom with freestanding tub. Room No 3 features one large double room, and a separate small double squeezed into an alcove; it’s a cosy space for kids, as long as they don’t mind sharing a bed. Both rooms have plenty of living space and an outdoor terrace. All rooms have space for a travel cot (free of charge).

Baby listening:

Parents can put their child(ren) to bed and then have supper on the terrace, using a baby monitor/mobile phone to listen out for wake-ups

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cot
  • Baby bath
  • Bottle warmer
  • Toys

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities on site:

  • Board ganes
  • Garden games (petanque, frisbee, racket ball)

Kids Activities nearby:

Beaches

Families Should Know:

The swimming pool is unfenced

Distances:

  • Airport: 15km (Faro)
  • Shops and restaurants: 4km
  • Hospital: 5km
Kid Friendly:

Location

Farmhouse of the Palms is 15km north of Faro Airport, in Portugal’s eastern Algarve. Set on a hill, surrounded by picturesque valleys, it overlooks the quiet country town of São Brás de Alportel.

By Air:
Fly into Faro then hire a car. It’s an easy 20-minute drive and there’s plenty of parking on-site.

Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Faro Airport 15.0 km FAR

Other:

  • Beach 15.0 km
  • Shops 4.0 km
  • Restaurant 4.0 km

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